by the letters

Posted: April 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

We’ve been showcasing the work of student horror authors. Next up is J.D. – an opinionated young lady who utilizes concrete imagery and an unusual format for her tale. We at Dark Silo will be amazed if J.D. doesn’t make her mark in the writing world. Read her piece and see if you agree. 

Zombified J.D.

Zombified J.D.

All of the students that we’ve printed are from the Polaris Expeditionary School in Fort Collins, Colorado. Our thanks to their teacher, Ryan Grindel, who gave us both the opportunity to print these stories, and a glimpse at a remarkable future for genre fiction. Thanks, Mr. G!

A is for Apocalypse

The heat reached me first, numbing pain slicing through layers of skin all the way to the bone. Light clawed its way into my eyes, biting at them mercilessly, aiming to kill. Thoughts jumped from my head in a wild attempt to flee this awful fate. I didn’t dare take a breath for fear of letting in more of this nullifying light. Maybe I screamed, but it could have been the wail of the world as the fleas of humanity were whipped from her surface. The moment seemed to burn a hole through time, ditching me in the center of the inferno.

The blast had cast me aside like a cranky child finished with a toy. I tried to unwrap myself from the street lamp in vain. Hot air slithered through my lungs as I tried with every ounce of muscle the blast hadn’t stolen to detach from the pole. Finally, I slumped onto the unforgiving ground. A large chunk of concrete punched the tender skin of my back. Maybe the pole was better, I thought with a whimper. My next shift in weight was into a smoldering patch of grass that crackled underneath me. I made a decision to just not move. Unfortunately that decision quickly changed when I heard the quick exhale of breath next to me.

Twisting onto my side, I saw a woman face down on the concrete with a hunk of debris immobilizing her left leg. Without thinking I hobbled over to her, new wounds of my own becoming clear every time my foot made contact with solid ground.

“Ma’am?’ I nudged her shoulder hoping she was still alive. Selfishly I yearned not to be trapped in a state of loneliness through whatever madness this turned out to be. “Ma’am are you alright?”

She let out a small groan.

“Oh thank God! Just be still, I think help should be on its way!” If the help was even still alive.

With short jerky motions, she began to lift her head, twisting from side to side to get free from the ground. I opened my mouth to tell her to lay still, but then I noticed the pool of red where her face had been. A meaty chunk was still stuck to the pavement. As she continued to twist and grind her body, I caught a good look at her face. The meat on the ground was a piece of her cheek that now left an empty hole where you could see bloodied teeth. She pulled her arms up to perch her upper body on and let out a gut tearing scream muffled by the steady flow of her own blood pouring down her throat. Her blue shirt was soon an awkward purple from the blood sloshing from her mouth.

Unable to form a coherent sentence, the only intelligible words to pop from my lips were “Holy shit”

The woman jerked her head my direction. Through blood matted hair, she looked at me with clouded eyes. Her broken nose twitched slightly. There was a long pause. We watched each other, uncertain of what move the other would make.

Then she lunged with such force that the tendons of her left leg separated mid-thigh. Being trapped under the concrete block didn’t seem to appeal to her and she began yanking at her leg to get free. She ripped away flesh with a sickening tearing sound until finally she snapped her bone. As she stood, the meat of her leg twitched and started to spasm around the gray bone. Crimson splashed and dripped from the wound leaving a puddle in the concrete as she gained her balance.

Clearing shock from my mind, I scrambled over rubble to get away from this crazed monster. She screeched and screamed, gargling blood. Finding unsure footing with her one good leg, she lunged at me again, coming mere inches from my eye. Adrenaline enveloped me as I hopped over concrete and bodies. Somehow, the woman was keeping up with me, despite her severed leg and massive blood loss. Within seconds, she was at my heels, reaching out to grab at me. Without really processing my plan of attack, I grabbed a nearby pole about five feet long and swiveled around to face the creature. Locating her chest, I slammed one end of the pole through it with all my strength, right where her heart was. She was thrust back, but didn’t seem to take any notice to becoming a shish kabob. Lucky me, I was her only focus at the time.

A thought registered in my head that made my mouth drop. Clashing teeth, can’t be killed like a living human, and can walk around no matter what wound they have. I closed my throat tight around the word before it could breach my lips. Realizations like this are better left to the mind.

I placed a foot right below where the pole had pierced the woman’s body and jerked back. She took a second to regroup but I was ready for the attack this time. When she lunged, I slid the pole right through her head, creating a flower like splash of red, gray and pink out the other side. The woman slumped down, lifeless.

With a shaky sigh, I dropped the pole. Years of America obsessing over the creatures of the night and someone had just brought them to our doorstep. Logic had clearly been burned out reality with the blast. The cushy life we all had once lived was now over. We needed to survive the world, not live in it. ‘The product of our imagination shall be the reality of our demise.’ My Dad’s quote sounded in my head through the silence of the new world.

I took another look at the woman lying dead by my feet, her gnarly hole of cheek peering up at me. So this is what the new world had in store for us? Zombies?

 

 

B is for Backstory

 

 

Before the bomb went off, America was in a state of bliss for the first time in decades. No one knew the true story of why. America had been at war for so long, and then all of a sudden, war seemed to stop. Why look a gift horse in the mouth? Probably because inside lay the carnage of half-a-dozen civilizations that America had put to rest. The reasons all varied; difference, nuclear power, oil. Mostly oil. Which is ironic. considering gas is now useless to the Undead. We didn’t care about the people we put down like dogs and forced to work in factories that only shipped shitty products to American soil. This was all kept a secret of course, because why worry the rich and powerful? Only a handful of people knew, and everyone who was sent to carry out these ‘missions of peace’ was executed upon return to their motherland.

But we must have forgotten some big super power, because shortly after the American take over, the bio-bombs were dropped. Word has it that we couldn’t even pin point who was leading the attack. The nightmares of American sin were at our door step, ready to knock down the domino stack which we called home. And they did. The final siege of biological terror landed at the head of every domino tower in the country. We fell with hardly a scream, out with a whimper.

It may be sick but I still love the irony. Our downfall brought on by the very creatures that we idolize and use to entertain so often. We had this coming. Decades of stepping on the little people and we expected no rebellion? No reclaiming of power that was ripped from the hands of the powerless? How naïve a world in which these dead morons used to float.

In my few possessions I still have a crumpled flyer that seemed to litter the streets of Loveland after the initial attack. Someone who clung to the theatrical title of ‘Rosy Death’.

 

“We are breast feeding the cruelty of the world. With “good intentions” we are feeding our innocence on a silver platter to those who wish to destroy us. Our secrets lay on broken spoons slipping repetitively into the mouths of the greedy. They grow with ever mounting malcontent, sponging off of our sacrificial happiness. Punishment becomes obsolete to those in a seat of power. They strangle the voice boxes of those who dare cry out to the crimes of today’s world. Forcing them to sit in a laminated torture that is watching the plague called humanity continue and spread through the land. Silence becomes the only cry let loose from bloody victim’s lips. Lathered in their stolen innocence, a taunting game played by many. The choice of power becomes blurred by corruption. And we, the people, are condemned to rot with the bones of the forgotten, at the feet of the crown barer.

This is our ultimate punishment. To become that which the mirror sees. That which our hunger feeds. Broken by the very hunger that used to propel us to the safety of wealth.

Feast my lovely corruption! Feast on the slaughter land of dreams!”

 

So Rosy Death was probably a complete nut case, but he or she made a good point.

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Comments
  1. Well, I may be a complete nut case too, but I like this. Excellent writing. Strong and visceral. Well done J.D.!

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